Monday, August 1, 2016

Reaching the Public with the Message of Climate Change

Posted by Richard B. Primack

“The audience are never tired of hearing how far the wind carried some man or woman or child – or family bible – but they are immediately tired if you undertake to give them a scientific account of it.”  
-Henry David Thoreau, from his Journals, Feb. 4, 1852

A major goal of our research group is to inform the public that the effects of climate change can be seen right here and now in New England. We also want the public to know that climate change could have devastating impacts on our economy, coastal environments, and human health. 

Discussing Walden Pond as a living laboratory on Boston's WCVB5 (link below)

Last week, I was interviewed for a TV program and a radio program where I had the chance to present our results. In both cases, these media outlets learned about our research from my book Walden Warming and articles that I had written for newspapers. This opportunity highlights the value of doing popular writing along with producing peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The first interview was with the Connecticut Public Radio program Where We Live. I was the featured guest discussing the effects of climate change on the plant and animals of New England, and the connections to Thoreau and the need to take action. 

Explaining how Walden's cattails are growing under unusual conditions this year, on Boston's WCVB5

The second interview was for a Chronicle program on the Boston TV station WCVB5 focusing on New England swimming holes (click to watch segments onetwothree, and four). I am interviewed about the low water levels at Walden Pond in segment three. 

Demonstrating the low water levels at Walden Pond by walking across the seldom seen Walden sandbar known as Thoreau's Cove

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